A spinning wheel is a machine/device for spinning thread or yarn from natural or synthetic fibers. This device can be an intimidating piece of machinery, with lots of moving parts. Once you are armed with the knowledge of all the parts, you can get started on the spinning process. Details can vary from one wheel to the other, but the anatomy is generally the same.
Parts of a spinning wheel
Here we take a look at the parts of the spinning wheel and how they work together to create the yarn.
The drive wheel
The large wheel is known as the drive or fly wheel. It is connected to the treadle – which can be single or double. The wheel turns when pressed on the by use of the foot. The drive wheel is attached to the flyer with a drive band made from hemp, cotton or a stretchy nylon material.
The Mother of all
This is the piece that holds together the maidens, which in turn holds the flyer, the brake system and the bobbin. The flyer is the U-shaped piece with a metal shaft through the middle, holding the whorls and the bobbin. Its arms usually have hooks allowing the yarn to wind onto the bobbin, either by sliding guide or via fixed distances.
It is the opening at the bottom of the flyer that allows the newly spun yarn to wind onto the bobbin. Some spinning machines come with a specialized hook called the orifice hook that is used to pull the end of the yarn from the bobbin through the orifice.
On the bobbin lead, the drive band is held right on the bobbin with the brake band located on the flyer. The flyer slows down, and the bobbin continues to turn thus winding the yarn.
It is a long folded band that sits around the flyer whorl and the bobbin whorl. Both are connected to the drive wheel. The bobbin may turn faster than the flyer whorl to pull the yarn onto the bobbin.
Bobbins and whorls
Scotch tension and the double-drive wheels have a whorl on the flyer where at the side of the drive band. The whorl may be up front or close to the orifice. On a bobbin-lead wheel, the whorl is located right at the bobbin. Many wheels have at least two different sizes of the whorl, and this determines how many times the flyer spins.
The brake system
Scotch tension, single drive and the flyer head make the brake system. The drive band is attached to the flyer, and the bobbin is held firmly in place with the brake that is attached to a tension knob. The brake system is easy to adjust for different styles of yarn.
There you have it! That’s a little overview of the anatomy of the spinning wheel. Once you have an understanding of the parts of the spinning machine, you will be better placed on the working and troubleshooting of the parts hence a greater spinning experience.